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U+3044, い



Stroke order
2 strokes

Etymology 1[edit]

Derived in the Heian period from writing the man'yōgana kanji in the cursive sōsho style.




  1. The hiragana syllable (i). Its equivalent in katakana is (i). It is the second syllable in the gojūon order; its position is (a-gyō i-dan, row a, section i).
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Corruption of emphatic particle (yo) or exclamatory particle (ya).[1]



  1. Used in compounds with certain sentence-ending particles to create a familiar effect.
    (da) (dai)
    (ka) (kai)
  2. Used in compounds with certain sentence-ending particles to create an exclamatory effect.
    (wa) (wai)
    (zo) (zoi)
    (ya) (yai)
  3. Used after verbs to create an exclamatory effect.
    Katte ni shiroi!
    Have it your way!
Alternative forms[edit]
  • (dated) (e)

Etymology 3[edit]

From Old Japanese. Possibly cognate with Korean nominal particle (i).

Used in Old Japanese, still found in use in Chinese works annotated for Japanese readers of Early Middle Japanese in the early Heian period, then becoming more limited and appearing only in specialized Buddhist texts. Fallen into disuse by the late Heian period from the time of so-called “cloistered rule”.[2][3]

Obsolete. Not used in modern Japanese.



  1. (obsolete) emphatic subject marker, added to nouns and verb stems
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 4, poem 545)
      吾背子之 跡履求 追去者 木乃関守 将留鴨
      Waga seko ga ato fumimotome ohiyukaba Ki no sekimori i todometemukamo
      If I go seeking after you, Following your footmarks, Will the guard of the pass In Ki bid me halt?
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 12, poem 3161)
      在千方 在名草目而 行目友 家有妹 将鬱悒
      Arichigata arinagusamete yukamedomo ihe n aru imo i ifukashimi semu
      This beautiful Arichigata. I wish to stop this way And continue to comfort my heart for a short while, but At home, my wife is waiting for me without being carefree. I must hurry on my way.
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 13, poem 3287)
      乾坤乃 神乎禱而 吾恋 公必 不相在目八方
      Ame tsuchi no kami o inorite aga kofuru kimi i kanarazu ahazuara-me ya mo
      If you pray to the deities of heaven and earth, You, who are in love with me, would never possibly meet me without fail.
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 14, poem 3393)
      筑波祢乃 乎弖毛許能母尓 毛利敝須恵 波播毛礼杼母 多麻曾阿比尓家留
      Tsukubane no otemokonomo ni moribe sue haha i moredomo tama zo ainikeru
      As if with wardens posted On this and that side of the Tsukuba Mountain, My mother watches me; But our spirits have met.
    • 797: Shoku Nihongi (edict 6)
      (please add an English translation of this usage example)
    • 797: Shoku Nihongi (edict 12)
      (please add an English translation of this usage example)
    • 797: Shoku Nihongi (edict 34)
      (please add an English translation of this usage example)
  2. (obsolete) emphatic phrase-final particle, emphasizing preceding phrase
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 3, poem 481)
      白細之 袖指可倍弖 靡寢 吾黒髪乃 真白髪尓 成極新世尓 共将有跡 玉緒乃 不絶妹跡 結而石 事者不果 [...]
      Shirotae no sode sashikaete nabikineshi waga kurokami no mashiraga ni naran kiwami aratayo ni tomoni aranto tamanoo no taejii imo to musubiteshi koto wa hatarazu […]
      Till my black hair be white, We shall be together, I and my darling, Sleeping, our sleeves overlapped, She nestling by my side, Bound in never-ending love, Through this new age of our Sovereign; So I vowed, but my word proved false, My hopes were vain. […]
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 7, poem 1359)
      向岳之 若楓木 下杖取 花待間尓 嘆鶴鴨
      Makatsuwo no wakakatsuranoki shitsuetori hanamatsuimani nagekitsurukamo
      Lower branches of a young katsura standing on the opposite peak. It is that I remove them and wait for the flowers to bloom, but throughout this time I feel frustrated and let out a sigh.
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 10, poem 1851)
      青柳之 糸乃細紗 春風尓 不乱間尓 令視子裳欲得
      Awoyagi no itonokuhashisa harukazeni midarenuimani misemukomogamo
      The beautiful sight of fine willow branches hanging verdantly. I wish I had a girlfriend to show it to together with me at that time when it is never disturbed by the spring breeze.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

An extension of use of the -i ending on adjectives.


(-i-i (adverbial (-ku))

  1. (informal) suffix forming adjectives: -ic; -al
    チャラチャラ (charachara, onomatopoeia for jingling)チャラい (charai, flashy)

Etymology 4[edit]

For pronunciation and definitions of – see the following entries.
[noun] doctor; physician; medicine
[affix] doctor
[affix] medicine, the healing arts
[affix] entrust; leave to
[affix] cast aside; abandon
[affix] detailed
[affix] Short for 委員会 (iinkai, committee).
[noun] thoughts; feelings
[noun] intent; meaning; goodwill
[affix] mind; idea; thought; feeling; intention
[affix] meaning
[prefix] from (this reference point) and (more)
[prefix] by, with, by means of
[noun] clothes, clothing
[affix] clothes, clothing
[affix] garb, robe (as worn by a monk, nun, or priest)
[affix] rank, place
[counter] rank, place
[counter] decimal place
[counter] ghosts
[counter] counter for the amount that can be encircled in one's arms, used as a rough measurement of circumference (roughly 1.5 meters)
[affix] surround; encircle; enclosure
[affix] circumference
[noun] stomach
[proper noun] (Chinese astronomy) Stomach Mansion (one of the Twenty-Eight Mansions)
[affix] stomach
[noun] something easy to do; easiness
[affix] easy; simple
[noun] (historical) under the Ritsuryō system of ancient Japan, an official document exchanged between officials with no direct authority over each other
[affix] shift; move; change
[noun] (literary) difference
[noun] (Buddhism) change or disease, one of the four states or avasthā
[adjective] (literary) strange; unusual
[affix] different
[affix] strange; unusual; extraordinary; excellent
[affix] aberrant
[affix] other; another
[noun] something fallen, something lost or left behind
[affix] be left, remain
[affix] leave behind after one's death, bequeath
[affix] leave behind, forget
[affix] give, present
[affix] let leak
[affix] rely on; depend on
[affix] according to
[affix] as before
[noun] the twelfth string on a koto (Japanese zither)
[noun] a fingering method for playing the shakuhachi (Japanese flute)
[affix] do; perform; carry out
[affix] fear
[affix] respect
[noun] power; might; strength; authority
[affix] power; might; strength; authority; dignity; majesty
[interjection] polite particle used to respond to elders: yes
[affix] polite particle used to respond to elders: yes
[affix] hold together; keep; maintain
[affix] what holds together; net, supportive
[affix] wither; droop
[affix] Only used in 椅子 (isu, ishi, chair)
[affix] to sort and collect; collection, compilation, group
[noun] (literary) greatness
[adjective] (literary) great
[affix] great, excellent, magnificent, extraordinary
[affix] differ; vary
[affix] go against; run counter to; disobey
[noun] weft, woof
[noun] parallels of latitude
[affix] a watchman or military officer in the ancient Chinese military
[affix] A military rank.
[affix] comfort; console
[affix] already
[affix] Alternative form of (i)
[proper noun] Short for イタリア (Italia, Italy).
[affix] Short for 伊太利 (Italia, Italy).
[affix] Short for 伊賀 (Iga, Iga).
[noun] those people with differing languages and/or cultures
[noun] a barbarian, savage; uncivilized people (living to the east of ancient Imperial China; included Japan)
[noun] a neutral (position)
[affix] rejoice; enjoy
[noun] a curtain or hanging that covers all sides
[affix] hanging; curtain
[noun] the Chinese name of the 針鼠 (harinezumi, hedgehog)
[affix] hang; strangle
[noun] a wife's sister; more specifically, a wife's younger sister
[noun] a mother's sister, a maternal aunt
[noun] a mistress (extramarital female lover); more specifically, a father's mistress
[noun] in ancient China, a tripod kettle or other vessel used to make offerings to one's ancestors
[noun] (by extension) cardinal principle
[proper noun] Yi (ethnic group)
[noun] in ancient China, a special windscreen placed behind the throne, made of red cloth embroidered with a pattern of axes and used during imperial audiences
[noun] (by extension) the throne itself
(This term, , is the hiragana spelling of the above terms.)
For a list of all kanji read as , see Category:Japanese kanji read as い.)

Etymology 5[edit]

From various Japonic origins.

For pronunciation and definitions of – see the following entries.
[noun] well (water source)
[proper noun] a surname
[proper noun] the Boar, the twelfth of the twelve Earthly Branches
[noun] a dike or levee for containing water
[noun] being (in a place), sitting (in a place); a seat
[noun] (obsolete) sleep, sleeping
[noun] gallbladder; liver
[noun] a pig or wild boar
[noun] a bulrush, a rush (plant)
[noun] five
[numeral] Combining form of いそ (iso) above: fifty, 50
[noun] (by extension) Combining form of いそ (iso) above: a large quantity
[prefix] (Shinto) added to spiritual nouns to indicate purity and holiness: holy, pure, sacred
(This term, , is the hiragana spelling of the above terms.)
For a list of all kanji read as , see Category:Japanese kanji read as い.)

(The following entries are uncreated: , .)


  1. ^ 1995, 大辞泉 (Daijisen) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN
  2. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  3. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN